1L Mock Interview Program

borkby Emily Bork, Class of 2018

After a few weeks of settling in to the Spring semester, it seems like there’s one thing on all 1L minds…summer jobs and internships. The 1L summer job hunt is officially upon us! With the job search comes a lot of preparation of resumes, cover letters, and writing samples, but there’s another critical aspect to the application process, and that is the ever-so-important interview. I, like many of my classmates, find the thought of interviewing pretty intimidating and nerve-wracking. For example, there’s the fear of not giving the type of answer the employer is looking for or not being able to answer the questions in a professional, yet approachable way. However, William & Mary’s Office of Career Services (OCS) provides a wonderful opportunity to all 1Ls during this time of year—the annual Mock Interview Program.

OCS invites William & Mary alumni to come to campus one Friday every year in January to sit with 1Ls one-on-one and conduct mock job interviews. Students are paired up with alumni based on our career and practice area preferences, and the program allows each and every member of the 1L class to practice their interview skills with William & Mary graduates. Not only is this an amazing chance to brush up on any weak areas of interviewing, but it also gives students an opportunity to meet practicing attorneys in our areas of interest and to continue networking and building professional relationships.

The alumni also provide us with live feedback right after the interview as we discuss both the strengths and possible areas for improvement. This advice is truly invaluable as it allows us truly perfect our skills so that we will nail a real job interview and be prepared to tackle any tough questions that might come our way.

Due to my interest in public service employers, I was paired up with an alum who works with the Virginia Legal Aid Society. Although I was pretty nervous ahead of time, I quickly felt at ease at the beginning of the mock interview as we both spoke about our experiences at William & Mary. My interviewer provided me with some really helpful feedback. Here are some of the main highlights to remember for your future interviews:

  • The interview, while formal, is really just a conversation. Don’t be afraid to keep a professional, yet approachable and conversational tone.
  • Make sure to emphasize the employer’s mission statement or goals and integrate them in to your responses. Show the employer that you are passionate about the work they do.
  • Always send a thank you e-mail or handwritten note after the interview. The employer will remember you by this positive, appreciative follow-up.

After participating in the mock interview program this past Friday, I was reminded of not only how dedicated OCS is to our success, but also of the dedication of our alumni. The fact that so many alumni took time out of their busy schedules to come to the law school in order to speak and meet with us individually speaks for itself. I couldn’t be prouder to be a William & Mary student, and I look forward to the day when I too will be among the amazing William & Mary alumni community.

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